Connect and learn about the attendees at the inaugural

Women and the Environment Conference!

Note that not all attendees choose to share their profiles.

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Helen McGrath

Farm Coordinator

Flying M Ranch



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What key words best describe your hope for the future?

Central Coast, food production and security, social justice, consultant, collaboration, policy change

Describe what are you working on in the field of climate change, environmental protection, environmental justice or social impact.

As a fifth generation farmer, who recently returned to the farm and the area, I am concerned about the longevity of food production here in California. In addition to ensuring that our operation is economically viable for our family, I want to explore if our operation is as energy efficient and environmentally sustainable as possible. I am always looking for new ways to collaborate with fellow producers, and to ensure that the next generation of agriculturalists are cultivated and recruited from our own farming communities. Food production and the future of our food system is a foundational issue and intersects with environmentalism, social justice, climate change and is crucial to the social and economic well-being of the tri-counties. I navigate that complexity, especially as a woman, everyday. After working in urban environments in areas of youth work, education, and the arts, I have truly "come home" to work, and feel empowered, but often challenged, by that transition.

How might other W&E conference attendees be able to support your work, goals or objectives?

Through formal and informal channels, I want to bridge the agricultural community with the general public. Food production, especially as a primary form of employment, is incredibly challenging, and farmers need allies. There are many ways that environmentalists, farmers, food and social justice activists and community members can collaborate and work constructively to ensure our collective food security and empower farmers as they navigate these challenging times. I also want to encourage and embrace the changing face of farming as more women and POC become employed within the agricultural industry. In order to ensure our future food security we need collaboration, scientific and technological breakthroughs, and for food production to become a priority and opportunity for more and more of our populace.

What are you able and willing to contribute to other attendees at the conference to support their work, goals or objectives?

I would love to share more about my perspective as a woman in food production, and try to dispel misconceptions and validate truths (negative or positive) about our industry. I am happy to use my facilitation and organizing skills, volunteer my time, support networking and collaboration, etc. to support the work of other attendees in the region.

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